England to face Canada, Italy and Finland in Cyprus Cup

Tuesday 28 Jan 2014
Lianne Sanderson in action against Norway in La Manga

England will face Olympic bronze medallists, and World Cup 2015 hosts, Canada in the group stage of this year’s Cyprus Cup.

The annual friendly tournament has become an established part of the Three Lions’ calendar over the past five years – and they have won the competition twice, in 2009 and 2013.

They defeated the Canadians in last year’s final, courtesy of Rachel Yankey’s sweetly-struck half volley.


Cyprus Cup schedule

Weds 5 March: England v Italy (3.30pm)
Fri 7 March: Finland v England (12.30pm)
Mon 10 March: England v Canada (12.30pm)



Group A is completed by Finland and Italy, two more nations England have faced in the Cyprus Cup in recent years.

New Head Coach Mark Sampson said: "The more opportunity we get to work with the players, the more opportunity we get to see them play the better.

"We’re looking forward to the chance of getting some more of our ideas across to the players and we’ll have an extended period to do that.

"Hopefully we can all become closer as a group and after Cyprus we should be in a really good position to make some important decisions ahead of the World Cup qualifiers, which is ultimately what we are working towards.

"We’ve had a good start to the qualifiers and we want to extend that against Montenegro in April. We want to play good, exciting football and we want to win matches.

"So we need to make sure the work we do in the build-up puts us in the best possible position to do just that."

England 1-1 Norway


England will open up against Italy on Wednesday 5 March before taking on the Finns two days later and they will round off the group campaign against Canada on Monday 10 March.

There will be one final match on Wednesday 12 March against one of the other eight nations drawn in Group B or C.

England drew 1-1 with Norway in La Manga earlier this month, Sampson’s first game in charge since taking over from Hope Powell.

Interim Head Coach Brent Hills led the team to comfortable victories in each of the first four World Cup qualifiers – against Belarus, Wales and Turkey, twice.

Sampson will name his squad for the Cyprus Cup in early February.

Charter Standard



By Glenn Lavery